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Gregory Loo, DPM Board Certified Podiatrist and Surgeon

Risk Factors for Foot Stress Fractures

Tuesday, 09 April 2024 00:00

Foot stress fractures are a common injury for athletes and especially runners who engage in repetitive physical activity. Stress fractures are microscopic cracks in the bones, commonly affecting the lower leg, ankle, and foot. They result from persistent pounding of the feet, particularly in high-impact sports like basketball and soccer. Among the risk factors are anatomical abnormalities, osteoporosis, and inadequate nutrition. Pain during activity, swelling, and tenderness are typical signs of stress fractures, yet they are difficult to detect. Diagnosis by a podiatrist typically involves a physical examination and digital imaging tests. At first, rest, immobilization, and pain management techniques may be prescribed. However, orthotic devices or supportive footwear may also be recommended to reduce strain. Ignoring a hairline fracture can lead to more severe complications. If you are suffering from foot pain that may be caused by your physical activities, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist to see if you have developed stress fractures. 

Stress fractures occur when there is a tiny crack within a bone. To learn more, contact Gregory T. Loo, DPM from Elite Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain free and on your feet.

How Are They Caused?

Stress fractures are the result of repetitive force being placed on the bone. Since the lower leg and feet often carry most of the body’s weight, stress fractures are likely to occur in these areas. If you rush into a new exercise, you are more likely to develop a stress fracture since you are starting too much, too soon.  Pain resulting from stress fractures may go unnoticed at first, however it may start to worsen over time.

Risk Factors

  • Gender – They are more commonly found in women compared to men.
  • Foot Problems – People with unusual arches in their feet are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Certain Sports – Dancers, gymnasts, tennis players, runners, and basketball players are more likely to develop stress fractures.
  • Lack of Nutrients – A lack of vitamin D and calcium may weaken the bones and make you more prone to stress fractures
  • Weak Bones – Osteoporosis can weaken the bones therefore resulting in stress fractures

Stress fractures do not always heal properly, so it is important that you seek help from a podiatrist if you suspect you may have one. Ignoring your stress fracture may cause it to worsen, and you may develop chronic pain as well as additional fractures.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Ahwatukee, and Phoenix, AZ . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle
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